Turtle Trax and its allies work continuously to address threats in sea turtle populations, promote environmental education to children, teenagers and adults, and encourage all kinds of research in conservation and advocacy.
Our volunteers and participants are our biggest donators; but you can also support us and our work in different ways.
Make a donation
Adopt a turtle
Adopt a nest
Contact us for more information
VOLUNTEER OR DO AN INTERNSHIP WITH US!
We only hope that volunteers will return home with a new insights regarding their impact on nature, making small changes in their lives and sharing with others their experiences in our program.
Volunteers spend weeks at a time at our project sites, assisting the research teams in the different projects carried out. All funds received from volunteers are used to run our projects, and help provide an income for local community members through opportunities such as guiding patrols and cooking meals. Also, the work that volunteers do at our long-term projects helps build a sense of awareness among locals regarding the importance and benefits that come from protecting animals and nature.
“Be of service. Whether you make yourself available to a friend or co-worker, or you make time every month to do volunteer work, there is nothing that harvests more of a feeling of empowerment than being of service to someone in need”. – Gillian Anderson
TASK AND ACTIVITIES
Volunteers, when working on the sea turtle nesting programs, accompany a member of the Turtle Trax team on night beach patrols (they last 3 to 4 hours). One purpose of these beach walks is to encounter nesting sea turtles and record scientific data (such as sea turtle measurements, collect the eggs, and move them to a hatchery where they are protected from poaching or depredation). This information is used to gain an understanding of sea turtle reproductive behavior, and improve our conservation strategies in the future.
Volunteers help build and maintain the hatcheries to ensure that incubation conditions are optimal for egg development, also they monitor the hatchery daily for emerging hatchlings and intruding predators. They collaborate in releasing the hatchlings onto the beach, and protect them from predators as they crawl to the ocean. As last activity regarding the hatcheries, volunteers help on nests excavations and collecting data on unhatched eggs, these task are performed under the watch of a research team member.
Along with the turtle tasks, volunteers are expected to help with station house maintenance and cleaning. Team members live in close proximities, so it is important to keep the living areas clean and functional. Volunteers also take part in environmental activities and English classes (when possible) for local kids.
There are additional opportunities available for volunteers such as helping out at local schools and assisting in climate change or beach garbage monitoring studies, they can also help in collecting seeds for our seedbed and nursery garden, reforestation activities and visiting other organizations (eg. Ara project in Punta Islita, Butterfly farm in Bejuco district, among other) The latter is not include in our package but we can offer information about these organizations if interested. Please make sure to specify interests on the application form.
VOLUNTEER OR DO AN INTERNSHIP WITH US!
Looking to gain hands-on experience in sea turtle research and conservation?
Interns are recent graduates or advanced students seeking to obtain field experience before moving on with their careers.
Our intern program supports and collaborates with long term research in four different nesting beaches in Southern Peninsula Nicoya in Costa Rica. CREMA (our scientific partner) exposes interns to a variety of experiences, habitats and creatures, while working with nesting sea turtles and leading groups of tourists, volunteers and other students.
Our internships last from 80 to 85 days, they are comprised in 6 different terms that participants can choose according to their needs (from June to January, depending on the project site).
The projects are open annually during the Olive Ridley nesting season. Olive Ridley sea turtles are the principal species that nest on these beaches, but there is also sporadic nesting of Green, Leatherback, and Hawksbill sea turtles. Egg poaching is the principal threat to the nesting sea turtles on these beaches. Secondary threats include nest predation, plastic pollution, beach development and tourist traffic.
How to apply
Volunteers Research Assistants / Interns
As a RESEARCH ASSISTANTS
Term 1: 8th June – 1st September (Costa de Oro, San Miguel)
Term 2: 15th June-3rd September (Bejuco, Corozalito)
Term 3: 28th July- 21st October (C. Oro, San Miguel)
Term 4: 31st August-18th November (Bejuco, Corozalito)
Term 5: 21st September-15th December (C. Oro, San Miguel)
Term 6: 15th November- 30th January 2020 (Bejuco, Corozalito)
Research Assistants (RAs) pay a $1100-1400 fee that covers basic meals and accommodation for the entire internship, a training workshop upon arrival, t-shirt for activities with community and night patrols, and a certificate of participation. For more info about interns requirements, responsibilities and tasks, check CREMA’s web page https://www.cremacr.org/en/cremas-seeks-research-assistants-season-2020-2021/
Additional Contact Information
To apply: Cover letter, specifying which period and location options you would prefer (Presented as: Full Name-Letter),Resume/CV (Presented as: Full Name-CV), and a list of the e-mail addresses of at least 3 references
Please send applications to Ninive Rodriguez-Espinoza at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
As a VOLUNTEER
Please send the Participant Information Form to email@example.com in order to confirm availability.
Playa San Miguel and Costa de Oro
1 Week = USD 550.00
Each additional week = USD 520.00
**All packages Includes: Food, accommodation, two transfers to work with communities, a transfer to the community of Bejuco – Fishing Village (fishing talk, mangrove tour and lunch).
San Miguel (w/Wi-Fi)
Each week = USD 600.00
Costa de Oro (each week / shared “ranchito” and pool)
1) Pax = USD 750.00 2) Pax = USD 1,450.00 3) Pax = USD 1,650.00 4) Pax = USD 1,850.00 5) Pax = USD 2,050.00
All coordinator positions are only open to people who have had previous experience working with sea turtles and have extensive knowledge of patrolling, scientific data collection and hatchery work, can speak fluent Spanish and English, and have excellent leadership skills. All project sites are very remote, thus a Coordinator must have a high degree of independence, responsibility and commitment. Coordinators are expected to maintain a friendly relationship with all other project volunteers and research assistants, in addition to members from local communities, as positive social relationships are crucial to each projects’ success. All project activities are conducted using the help of volunteer program participants and/or research assistants, depending on the project. Coordinators are expected to orientate and direct project workers upon their arrival and motivate them for the duration of their stay with the project. Project coordinators are responsible for the overall success of the project.
This position is no longer available for the 2020-2021 season
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Meet our team
Sea Turtle projects (CREMA)
Phone number: (506) 2655-1179.
E-mail addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Address: 100 mts sur de la escuela de San Francisco de Coyote, Nandayure, Costa Rica.
Potential Sites for visiting (Tours)
Playa Grande, Parque Marino las Baulas
Playa Grande is located in the province of Guanacaste, Canton of Santa Cruz. The Baula National Park protects mangroves that are under the RAMSAR Convention. But the reason for the creation of the Park, and its main importance, from the conservation point of view, is the nesting of the leatherback turtle, (Dermochelys coriacea)
Photo cortesy of UNSPLASH
Leatherbaclk Sea Turtle is the largest of the actually known 7 sea turtle species. This species is classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List, however the Pacific population is currently Critically Endangered
The season to see the turtle nesting begins on October 20 and ends on February 15.
Ostional Wildlife Refuge
Photo cortesy of AGLO
The Ostional National Wildlife Refuge is located in the counties of Santa Cruz and Nicoya in the province of Guanacaste. It is bounded on the North by Punta India 222550 N – 34750 E (Hoja Cerro Brujo 3046-II), the South by Punta Guiones Nosara 210400 N – 353150 E (Hoja Garza 3045-I) and extending three miles out to sea.
Photo cortesy of UNSPLASH
The refuge comprises an area of 300 Ha on land and 800 Ha of ocean. The Ostional National Wildlife Refuge was officially created in 1984 but was declared a protected area in 1982.
So many turtles come onto the beach in a short time span that most of the first nests are destroyed by later turtles. Therefore, in 1987, a project was initiated to allow local people the right to collect and sell a percentage of the eggs from the first three days of each arribada. This is one of the few places in the world where it is legal to harvest turtle eggs.
The best time to visit Ostional is just before and during an ARRIBADA. These occur, as a general rule, at the start of the LAST Quarter MOON. The best months to see the biggest ARRIBADAS are between July and December.
Coyote and Bejuco Responsible Fishing Projects
Photo by Eric López
In nearshore waters of the Costa Rican Pacific coast, fishers from the Coyote and Bejuco communities fish from small vessels with bottom-longlines to harvest snapper year-round and market them domestically. The Nicoya Peninsula artisanal snapper fishery is jeopardized by diminishing returns due to unsustainable and illegal extraction from industrialized shrimp trawlers, and low earnings caused by dependency on long chains of custody.
Photo by Eric López
Villagers have formed artisanal fishing associations who mandate local regulations and best fishery practices to safeguard their coastal community heritage. The project supports these interests by combining a product certification strategy and marine protected area development to create sustainable seafood markets and improve coastal resource governance regimes.
Cabo Blanco Natural Reserve Hawksbill Sea Turtle Reseach In Costa Rica
Hawksbill sea turtles are particularly threatened in the Eastern Pacific ocean, with only 500 nesting females left in the whole region. We have discovered that a small population of juvenile hawksbill sea turtles uses the rocky reefs around the waters of Costa Rica to feed and grow.
Video by Randall Arauz
Join us as we explore the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, studying these animals, following their movements, and working with the local communities to ensure the survival of this species.
Santa Rosa National Park
Santa Rosa National Park protects some of the last remaining tropical dry forest in the world. The small patch of oak forest near the entrance to the Comelco Ranch is probably representative of the original habitat of much of the park. Ranchers burned most of the plateau region, and African pasture grass (Hyparrenia rufa) and the fire resistant Bignoniaceae trees define the current landscape. Nearer the beaches the habitat becomes more native-like.
Photo cortesy of COSTA RICA GUIDE
Guanacaste National Park was created in 1989 to connect Santa Rosa National Park with the high elevation cloud forest of Orosi and Cacao volcanoes and across the continental divide to the Caribbean rainforest of Northern Costa Rica. The hope is that together these two parks protect enough land to ensure sufficiently large habitats for wide-ranging species such as jaguars and mountain lions while simultaneously creating a biological corridor for birds and insects to make local seasonal migrations between the dry forest and the evergreen cloud and rain forests.